Federal mediators to try to restart talks with dockworkers
Source: Baltimore Sun
Federal mediators will attempt to restart stalled contract talks between the union representing 14,500 East and Gulf coast dockworkers and the group representing their employers in an effort to avert the first strike in 35 years.
A strike would clot the shipment of billions of dollars of goods in and out of the eastern United States at the peak of the holiday shipping season, potentially driving up prices and threatening the nation's nascent economic recovery. The dockworkers' current contract expires Oct. 1.
Baltimore port officials greeted word of federal mediators' intervention with relief.
The Maryland Port Administration had begun making contingency plans for a walkout or work slowdown. After a closed-door briefing Thursday morning, the administration's commissioners voiced concern that a disruption could put the brakes on strides made by the port since the recession.